Growing up Deprived and Overcoming The Anxiety.

Meet my friend Cain Quillman.

We will all eat popcorn and have a Kleenex box watching movies of his story journey through obstacles life has thrown at him. More importantly what he’s overcome.

Cain Quillman: YouTube Channel

Click here to watch his latest video.

Buy It

He leaned into my left ear and whispered “Buy it.” 

When I woke up today I had two choices. Stay in bed and be sad, again. Or get up, throw my hair into a greasy wad on top of my head, wear my best pair of pajamas to the Goodwill store downtown, and drop off the last box of his shirts.

It’s been two years that I’ve struggled to part with this damn box. It’s full of his favorite shirts. One of them still smelled of his cologne. I chose to keep it and hung it back up since he only wore it briefly. 

God I miss him. I miss him so much. I can’t fathom walking into my closet and not seeing that box. What’s left of rational me knows what to do. But the grieving me is trying to pack rational me into a box like his shirts are in. 

I agreed to start with the box first. My sister is a grief counselor in New York City. She says there’s no timeline for grieving and that only a basic graph of the grieving process exists. She also says not to be so hard on myself. The graph is based on experiences and research. She’s been comforting and annoying at the same time. I often just want to let the phone ring instead of answering it. I don’t want to talk about him like he’s gone. Why can’t they understand that? 

I’ve not been ready to move out of mere existing. I faked my way through a date last week just to appease my concerned friends and family. 

Today didn’t feel fake at all. Today I felt him beside me from the moment I woke up and stretched my way to the bathroom. I’ve been arguing with a ghost for 2 years now. I pee and he points his finger at me. I argue and shut him down. “No.” “I’m not ready to let you go.” I say loudly. 

Every morning we have this same conversation. Day after day. 

Please no. I’m not ready.

I stood in the mirror looking at this woman I’ve become. Barely a shell of what use to be. I usually see him reflecting back at me. “Where are you?” I chant. This isn’t what you promised me. You don’t get to just leave me here. You promised me coffee dates in bed every morning for the rest of my life. I’m here. You’re not. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m afraid of my own shadow now because you were my backbone. 

Usually I march to the kitchen and start a cup of coffee. Not today. Today I stood and stared at the laugh lines around my eyes. He added to them with his sense of humor. The black circles under my eyes reminding me he’s gone. He is fading more and more with each day that passes. 

I feel like I have forgotten all my basic life skills. I see no point in a toothbrush if he isn’t here to kiss me. Who needs shampoo? Not me. Now that he isn’t here to remind me how sweet my hair smells, whats the point? I might as well donate all this body lotion and perfume with his shirts. Why do I need soft skin if he isn’t here to touch me anymore? 

The people in my life keep trying to sell me things I refuse to buy. I understand they genuinely care and want what’s best for me but I’m not ready to buy any of it. I just want him back. He’s the only thing that ever made sense in my entire life.

I feel the water filling up my tear pails. Heavy and painful. I squint to release some of the pressure. 

Out of nowhere he shows up and leans into my left ear and whispers, “Buy it.” 

“Lou, please buy it.” “Buy it, he begs of me.” Buy everything they are selling you; I can’t stand to watch you hurting.” I feel a gentle pressure on top of my shoulders. As if he has laid his hands on top of them. I close my eyes and watch this scene unfold so I can memorize it. 

He reaches his right hand up and strokes my hair out of my face. He leans down to kiss the corner of my forehead. I can’t quit sobbing. I feel like this is goodbye. How do I breathe without you? 

I love you Lou. I’ll live forever in the laugh lines by your eyes. Now take the box. I don’t live there anymore.

Buy It

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Where Do They Go

Where Do They Go
— Read on

Updated post~ Where Do They Go


2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean


My daughter passed 29 years’ ago, at the age of 6 weeks. I tortured myself trying to move through those emotions. I have just recently discovered the pain of losing her is never going away. It is always in the back of my mind. Somedays it is brought to the front by a baby being born or a child’s cry and several other little things most people bypass. When that happens now, I can let it be there without beating myself up. Writing helps keep me grounded and allows me to express my emotions. 29 years’ sounds like a long time ago, but in the mind of a parent, 29 years’ ago is every morning.

Woke up today

Pulled your photo

from the drawer

Photo credit to Kaitlynn Paige Trundle via PicsArt

I understand now

life and loss

a lot more

No more in vain

will I let you be

Baby of mine

life left in me

Do they see what I see

Have they cried

like I cried

Have they hurt

like I hurt

Have they tried

like I tried

When they look in the mirror

What do they see

When I look

it’s all

looking back

at me.

Do you see

what I see

Cry like I cry

Hurt like I’ve hurt

Try like I try

When you step

do you step

with the same heavy weight

Carry it all

Every step that you take

Do you see what I see

Cry like I cried

Hurt like I hurt

Try like I tried

Did you drink like I did

Each bottle to hide

Push it away

And lie like I lied

Did you ever feel lost

in the big world outside

Wash it away

with a turn of a tide

Were you afraid

sad and scared

as I was

Did you try to drown

yourself in that buzz

Just like me

did you sit

Asking why

God why

Like me

were you lost

No goodbye

No goodbye

Do you see what I see

Cry like I cry

Hurt like I hurt

Try like I try

If you know what I mean

the pain

the sorrow

My faith I will share

My faith you can borrow

I’ll hold your hand

I’ll be there

and love you

I know the walk

in the dark you go through

Sometimes it hurts

to move through the pain

The sun will shine

You can dance in the rain

Until that day comes

I’ll be by your side

Friends til the end

Together we rise.

Do you see what I see

Cry like I’ve cried.

Hurt like I hurt

Try like I’ve tried.

2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean

Photo credit Lynn Rilean Smith

I see her in the clouds.